Friday, March 30, 2012

One Candle

"It seems a natural thing to do in loss and grief, to light even a single candle. I had done so many times throughout the year. A miraculous glow spreads around that flame. It may shine in a chapel, where people leave their silent prayers burning at the feet of the saint, or simply on a windowsill at home. This must be an old, old desire in us--a necessity in us--to see the surprising power in one small flame of light to dispel the dark."

Barbara Helen Berger from AN OFFERING OF FLAMES: Lighting a candle, we light the world.

I have experienced the same in the many vigils I've attended in front of death houses and other places where folk gather to say no to killing.

Blogger here at The Journey of Hope blog...


NAACP President and Malloy Meet: Great Story from Debbie Kearns! (LINKS Reminder)

McQuaid PhotoGov. Dannel Malloy and NAACP President Benjamin Todd Jealous

CLICK here or cut/paste with this link:

Be sure to continue to go to FB and other links in Right Lower Column on this The Journey blog and places to Click here

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Alarming Levels of Executions in the Few Countries That Kill: Amnesty/USA

See Rick Halperin's Death Penalty News & UPdates in column to the right--Click for this article & related...

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Consider the Juvenile Issues, Facts & Resources

Civil Rights News SC here End Juvenile Life Without Parole here

RESOURCES: I highly recommend this breath-taking film! Great discussion-starter -- tried and true methods for preventing crimes -- including deadly ones -- superb piece of film-work by true professionals. See "The Interrupters" -- GO here
Frontline show on Juveniles & Justice here

LET'S TALK: juvenile prevention, forgiveness, justice, healing

ATTENTION: BILL, TERRI and others following the juvenile crime issues:

We've got apparently contradictory issues which may be related to our unique work here at the JOH:

1) The worrisome abuse and crimes of whites on blacks (including that of the young) which may be allowed to go unaddressed or without the perpetrators held accountable. There is at least one petition out addressing this at Care2 started by parents of one affected son...

2) Then there is the recent work to make it unlawful for juvenile offenders to be held indefinitely in prison (LWOP) and related items regarding the trend toward revenge and giving no forgiveness, hope and incentives. Bill and/or others "in the know" on this one may be able to fill us in soon after the DC hearing. (There are several items out on this via Washington Post and others.) ARE THERE ACTIONS/PETITIONS on the current bill in the House?

3) What about a discussion BOTH here at "The Journey of Hope Blog" and FB?
Bill, how was the event and what may be current for us to get out regarding both what you know TO DATE and some highlights of what you've experienced with Paula Cooper?

4) I want to also commend BOTH Bill and Debbie Kearns who on FB shared a very fluent, civil little conversation re. the apparently contradictory of our JOV stance -- that is -- to be patient, understanding, loving and forgiving to the VICTIM's FAMILY MEMBERS who may not easily, quickly or at all move from the horrific events of their suffering into a dedicated stance of forgiveness. SAME TIME: how might we best continue to effectively move onward towad a loving, forgiving position on the prevention of crimes/ the protection of society from people out of control as well as disallowing executions, LWOP for juveniles and the provision of a better justice system.

(plz forgive this quick writing -- yet even with little time for this -- these are crucial issues indeed & so time sensitive.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Plz Keep Journey's RANDY Gardner in your Heart & Prayers!

Randy Gardner --
with children in Uganda
with Journey...

I'm posting this by itself for special highlighting since it may have been missed by many of us earlier. I found this at the end of Bill's last Journey Events Diary posted a few days ago by Angela on fb (and see the JOH blog just below as well.)

From Bill:

Please pray also for the family of Journey of Hope board member Randy Gardner. His brother Billy Joe passed away last night. It is the FOURTH! brother of Randy’s to die in the last 20 months. His brother Ronnie Lee Gardner was executed by the state of Utah in 2010.


From Connie:

Find a a Journey post on Randy with a little more about his family -- hoping we will be able to post more after some updating on Randy about his work with and vision for youth here

Wow Randy -- what impossible loss! I can't imagine losing ONE brother -- let alone four! And in the most recent 20 months! Unfathomable -- yet so so heart-wrenching...As if your previous experiences with deepest of loss has not been enough.

Along with prayer for Bill, JOH, Mothers and more we The Journey Family and other readers are compelled by unending love and deep empathy to pray for you daily.

Randy, (Bill or someone else) -- would you plz send an address where we might send you cards?

When you are able and willing: do update us from time to time, Randy, on your special needs and your amazing work on behalf of youth!

Bill Pelke/Events Diary ( in DC on Fair Sentencing of Youth -- Attending Oral Arguments)

Thanx for this post, Bill and Angela! (Sorry to have missed earlier)

Journey of Hope..Events Diary Blog
"The answer is Love and Compassion for all Humanity." Bill Pelke, founder

Please pray for me.... by Bill Pelke
by Bill Pelke

The next two weeks are very important.
Tomorrow night I fly to Washington, DC for the United States Supreme Court
to attend oral arguments in the case of Jackson & Miller.
I will be the guest of the Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth (CFSY).
I am part of an amicus brief in this case.
At issue is the case of Juvenile Life Without Parole (JVLWOP).
There will be several meeting before and after the hearing, with great networking possibilities and media opportunities.

While in DC I will also be involved in planning for a DC Journey of Hope in June,
prior to the Annual Fast and Vigil.

I return to Alaska for one short day and fly to Sonoma, California for the lauch of;
Fellowship for Death Penalty Abolition Leaders.
I am honored to be selected to be a paricipant in this program.
It is designed to support a multiracial community of longtime and emerging leaders
engaged in work to end the death penalty - including litigators, communications leaders, state organizers, national leaders and other advocates.
There is so much I need to learn to make my work with the
Journey of Hope ... from Violence to Healing more effective.

I will also be able to spend several days with Kathy Chism, founder of Dream One World. Kathy is a global advisor to the Journey of Hope and a big part of the African Journey of Hope.

Again, please pray for me during the next two weeks.

Please pray also for the family of Journey of Hope board member Randy Gardner. His brother Billy Joe passed away last night. It is the fourth brother of Randy’s to die in the last 20 months. His brother Ronnie Lee Gardner was executed by the state of Utah in 2010.

Thank you,

God’s Peace,
Posted by Angela at 10:12

Sunday, March 18, 2012


KEEP THIS URL HIGH on your lists, emails, twitters, fb pages (and sites) -- plz let your contacts know about our CURRENT CAUSE -- here THANX ELLA FOUNDATION!

Here's the statement of deep gratitude to Charity (from Bill Pelke · President and Co-Founder at Journey of Hope...from Violence to Healing)

Charity, on behalf of the Journey of Hope...from Violence to Healing I cannot thank you enough for what you have done, not only for the Journey of Hope organization, but me personally and for my friends Shujaa Graham, Randy Gardner, Ron Carlson, Rick Haperin and others of the Journey family. We know that you suffered though something that no one should ever have to.

From your depth of pain you have risen, risen because of love, unconditional love. We all need to learn of that. We know that it is your love for ELLA that is bringing the Journey of Hope back to San Antonio. Thank you so much.

Let’s do this for Shujaa and the Witness to Innocence program.

Let’s do this for Randy Gardner, as he retells how the people of the State of Utah used a firing squad to kill his brother Ronnie Lee Gardner.

Let’s do it for Ron Carlson, Rick Halperin, Rais Bhuiyan, and all the other wonderful people that are a part of this movement.

And let’s do it for you and for me.

Lest we not forget Paris and Paula.

It is especially important (that) we are collectively doing it for ELLA.

I say Praise God.

Thank you, Thank You, Thank You.



On behalf of the rest of the JOH family, we second that deep gratitude as well. Some of us may not yet have seen what you have done or may choose to remain silent. Some like Rick and I may not be on FB...yet I know their heart is or would be with Bill in this beautiful statement. Once a week or so, plz let me know how the JOH blog might help this cause in a more effective way.


Hot News Just In: Maryland, Connecticut and More...

See DP Repeal Debates in Maryland and Connecticut!

Maryland Reignites the DP Debate here

Connecticut DP Repeal Debate: No One Backs Keeping Status Quo here

Last but NOT least: Dr. Rick Halperin's amazingly thorough, interesting and moving site GO OFTEN here Also particularly see the items on Kansas, Arizona, the USA, Lent and the DP and Uganda's on going debate on DP for gays...See also the article near top of March 18th on Puckett who for 16 years...has dealt with life by writing...

...As condemned killer Larry Matthew Puckett has sat on death row the last 16 years, he has not been silent.

He has been writing.

Through a website called "Prisoner Express, the bridge between prisoners and the outside world," as well as a Facebook group started by his family called "Letters from Matt," Puckett is able to make contact with family, friends and supporters.

But barring success from last-minute appeals or a gubernatorial pardon, Puckett's pen will be stilled Tuesday.

Puckett, 35, is scheduled to die by lethal injection.

"It has to come, I can't stop it. The prospect alone is just too damn close for comfort," he wrote in an essay 6 years ago.

Puckett has been a writer since high school, his mother said, and he has recorded many of the details of his day-to-day life at the State Penitentiary at Parchman.

Despite ongoing legal efforts to stop his execution, he doesn't protest his sentence or insist on his innocence in his writings. Instead the musings reflect the changes he has gone through during his incarceration...

Rick's Death Penalty News & Updates is a superb site for nearly daily items when we become a bit silent here...See his and other easy links among the list to the right>>>

More Good than Hate

How local and long-distant compassion helps a family heal...

9/11 Hate Crime Victim's Kin Become US Citizens

By SAMANTHA HENRY Associated Press

WEST WINDSOR, N.J. March 16, 2012

(AP) Anum Hasan has seen many conflicting visions of America: the hope of a better life that brought her family from Pakistan, the hate-filled act that ended her father's life in the name of American vengeance; and an outpouring of compassion that her family has come to feel is the true face of the country they now call home.

"I think about what story I'll tell her one day about what happened to our family," Anum Hasan said, cradling her 1-year-old daughter Aisha on her lap. "It's important for her to know there's always a lot of hate going around in the world, but there is so much more good.

"Hasan's father, Waqar Hasan, was shot to death four days after Sept. 11, 2001, in Texas, targeted by a white supremacist looking for revenge against Middle Eastern men for the terror attack.

The family had every reason to want to leave, but on Friday, Hasan's widow and three of her four daughters were sworn in as U.S. citizens.

It was what happened in the aftermath of Hasan's killing that reinforced the family's decision to remain in the U.S.A.

The doorbell of their Milltown home did not stop ringing. Letters started pouring in. Hundreds of phone messages from across the country were left with their local congressman, decrying Hasan's killing. Fruit baskets and baked goods were brought to their home. Neighbors in their small town organized a candlelight peace vigil and Waqar Hasan's widow, Durree Hasan, recalled her amazement that the elderly, infirm woman who lived next door had found a way to attend the vigil, despite the pouring rain...

READ the rest here and listen to the story on NPR here

JOURNEY LINKS and Updates...


BILL, see several more short requests for you...

Updates from FB:

Please PRAY for ANGELA with her FULL schedule...

ANGELA, hopefully, you'll give us your ongoing prayer reports & still keep in touch with us -- will you, Angela, when you get the chance via FB, the Journey blog and/or by personal emails? and let us know what to re-post? (mine is

I will add you to my prayers (I've been inspired by Muslim friends to pray more regularly & like doing this a lot...I'm not yet up to 5 x per day yet but am reminded by pre-dawn, noon and sunset to pray. Feels good.) I've been in habit of St. Paul's injunction to "pray without ceasing" for much of my life & will continue to follow that as well.

Let me throw-out a prayer for ALL MOTHERS as this reminder has come up recently bigtime...especially for our certain beloved ones. Let us add your's by name or description if you'd like...

BILL, ANGELA and others: Plz let me know of anyone you'd recommend to help co-blog at the JOH blog...this may be even more important if Bill chooses to put his book on his and/or the JOH blog. OR, even anyone wanting to help update things here technically. We're wide open.

CHARITY also has a recent post at FB.

Let's pray for BILL'S BOOK which is now four chapters long at least.

BILL, if/when you see this -- would you mind telling us a bit more about your meeting with Paula after so many years? ALSO, give us a few blurbs about JOH in Alabama, if you don't mind...

Happy birthday one day late to JUSTIN! How did it go?

How are the JOH visits in DC and other places where Journey members happen to be?

DEBBIE has a few important news update on FB --incl. one concerning family victims of hate crime becoming US citizens...PlZ pray also for this beautiful, forgiving family and also for the very alive movement: "World Without Hate". (There may be an episode on some of the history of this movement's founder on NBC -- biography channel -- plz let me know if you see a URL before I do...

At Dr. Rick Halperin's suggestion, I've been re-reading the absolute classic on FORGIVENESS by our JOH supporter, Sister Helen Prejean: DEAD MAN WALKING...if you've read it, would you plz send me your favorite quotes or WHY you consider the book to be central for our work?

I've also pulled out my copy of Sion Wiesenthal's "The Sunflower: On the Possibilities and Limits of Forgiveness" (also recommended recently by Rick) Have any of you read any of this one?

Keep watching the JOH blog and Journey of Hope FB for much more (whether signed up or not) -- you can always comment here on JOH. I plan to soon free COMMENTS here not to need a google account of approval...and see if this works without as much spam or rude comments as in past. Anyone want to help monitor?

I just re-signed on twitter -- are any of you tweeting?

*** My ONLY working email for personal correspondence a long time now: (Connie L. Nash)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Suggestion for fb folk...:)

Sometimes, I test out my posts here & IMMEDIATELY correct I just did with the last post. Alas, I was surprised that the instant before doing so it was posted unedited on fb...? So, perhaps someone working fb would remove the previous version & post the right one? :) That would be best considering the fb item goes to search engines with Rais Bhuiyan's and our Journey of Hope names...Thanx...

Looks like it may be best for me to not test it out the same way?

Thanx for ALL the amazing work and connections between blog and fb. I really like working together & seeking to improve my part. Blessings!

Blessed Are the Merciful: A New Video about a World Without Hate

Mark Stroman, transformed by a community of love, forgiveness and self-reflection: "Hate is going on in this world -- it has to come to an end."

Rais Bhuiyan: "Let's end the cycle of hate and violence. Let's move forward."

As mentioned by Bill Pelke recently, here's a new video online with more evidently to come in print. Just Click here

Photo above and more was found here

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Bill answers Connie who returns the favor...

JOURNEY FAMILY (and other interested readers at blog and FB):

The following was a letter Bill Pelke posted on FB in response to my request for an update. I found this informative letter on FB March 8, 2012.

Since Bill answered my public request publically, I'm assuming it's ok to let you readers in on this as well -- if not, let me know right away, Bill. ok? :)

(My response follows his...Connie)

Hi Connie,

Hope you are well. I just saw the post where you wanted me to call you. I have been extremely busy the last 8 months, due to Gilles resignation and all the traveling I have been doing. He used to take care of little things which usually turn into major tasks for me.

I have not talked with you forever. I am writing a book that starts with the Alabama trip and some flash backs to Places like Texas 2005. 2007, Africa and Uganda, Germany and a lot more. Right now I am also working on trying to get the Journey of Hope to California prior to the November 6th elections. I am running into a bit of a wall in trying to get the Journey invited. It would be a great thing to have a Journey of Hope in California. I would be interested in some brain storming on this.

I have thought of putting a chapter of my book on the blog one chapter at a time. I am pretty much done with the first five. It is all about the fantastic Journey of Hope that took place in Alabama Jan 5-Feb 6.

Some might find it interesting to go chapter by chapter, not sure yet what I will do.

I am also because I don’t even really know who is working on the blog, you and or Angela. You both have done so much for the Journey. I need to start paying closer attention. I am glad this post was called to my attention.

I just am not computer savvy with all this stuff.

Big news, I got to visit with Paula Cooper in January for the first time in 14 years. It was a wonderful visit.

She will get out of prison in about 15 months. I will meet her at the gates of the prison when she gets out.

Bill Babbitt and David Kaczynski and his wife Linda Patrick just left Alaska today after a 7 speaking tour through Anchorage. Great events through Alaskans Against the Death Penalty. I go to DC in 8 days and will attend the supreme court hearing dealing with Juveniles and Life without Parole on the 20th. I am part of an Amicus Brief that has been filed to abolish JVLWOP in the case of Miller v. Alabama and Jackson v. Hobbs I will fly to Santa Rosa on the 24th to visit with Kathy Chism, founder Dream One World and then attend a death penalty leadership training conference in Sonoma 26-29

A member of Amnesty International, Christian Martin called me a month ago requesting Journey speakers for an event their AI group was planning for anti-death penalty week. Shujaa Graham, Randy Gardner and Charity Lee will be representing the Journey of Hope for Demand Justice: A lecture on the death penalty with the Journey of Hope on April 4 at the Boston University. I know it will be powerful.

The ELLA Foundation is hosting the Journey of Hope in San Antonio October 10-14. Charity Lee, founder, has posted this event on causes trying to raise money.

The Journey of Hope will also do some events in the DC area prior to and including the 19th annual fast and vigil June 22-July 2. I have not missed a day in 18 years and don’t plan on missing this year.

Journey of Hope board member Rais Bhuiyan was recently interviewed for Readers Digest. Check out next month’s issue.

Together we can Abolish the Death Penalty.

Peace and Love, Bill
March 8 at 3:38am

Quick Response from Connie to Bill & Others:

Wow, no wonder you're a bit behind! YES, doing the book online chapter by chapter may be JUST RIGHT for Journey because you've got pressing events which may need attention this just this way -- but check with others who may be familiar with this -- see if you would still be able to publish freely with the publisher of your choice or self-publish even more easily this way? Of course, you may need to see if there would be a few issues such as editing AFTER posting or even changing things around in the book drastically. Still, it seems the way to go with fewer folk reading a whole book...and to get suggestions before you publish.

I get a sense of resonance and connection with Angela and all the other current ACTIVE supporters and groups Journey has. So glad that the Journey Blog continues to download so easily into FB.

My problem is I'm probably only a speck more computer savvy then you and REALLY MISS my former German co-blogger -- do you know where she is or her ADDRESS plz...that pretty little golden red-head you introduced me to whom did much of that for me -- while I helped her out happily with a bit of English usage...???

ANGELA, you are MOST welcome to help me with the blog ANYTIME...the blog needs you! Do you know how to get signed in or should I figure this out or send you someone who might help us both?

I just got back from a surprise visit to DR (Republica Dominico)for 10 days so am behind on blogging. This exciting surprise trip was for a 40th wedding anniversary! My dear husband Dale was SO excited planning this & he/we was/were even more happy with each day in "paradise" as far as nature, weather, animals (whales) and dear dear people whom we got to "know" a bit even with language barrier...most everyone speaks to learn a little...and practice our grade school french...we stayed in a bungaloo with thatched roof close to the SEA and could visit at will. We ate a lot of fresh fish.

Closest experience to working on the death penalty was joining a group of beautiful folk who's mission in life is to SAVE Humpback Whales from extinction. The whole country is doing this -- turning whale hunting into whale's working for the whales & the economy as well (great tourism event.) We saw a baby whale and the mom's male escort breach up-close...tons & tons of grey sea flesh many floors high jumping completely out of the green sea...

Looks like some great folk continue to keep FB going...I read it regularly but am not signed in...

Bill, let some of us know next time you go to South Carolina or we/I may meet you in San Antonio in October...

Also, I may be able to find a better communication system to use just with you and a few others pretty soon.

Until then, PLS send my by my yahoo address (only) your best post office addresses -- home & also your contacts for end of March and April...

Thanx so much for writing...PLZ keep us posted here at blog/fb.

Prayers, Blessings & Hugs!